Spotlight On: Julie Kinzel, PA-C
November 17, 2022
View Julie Kinzel's Faculty Profile
What inspired you to train the next generation of leaders?
I have always been interested in teaching. My undergraduate degree is in education and, once I completed my PA training, combining my interest in teaching with PA education felt like a great fit. My inspiration came from some of the great educators that I was exposed to as a student, and those who mentored me gave me the inspiration to be part of the PA faculty.
How has education and practice shifted over the last five years?
Education has shifted to younger students coming from college with less life experience and less professional experience. In the earlier years, the PA classes consisted of students switching careers, and now many students are entering the profession as their first career. The students entering the profession come with outstanding undergraduate GPAs and amazing drive and ambition. The practice of medicine requires health care workers to be able to work efficiently and think critically.
How do you prioritize health equity in the curriculum and practice?
This is something that the pandemic made us more aware of and we continue to learn more about daily. Our health care system has failed a large portion of the population, and it’s incumbent on the newest providers to change the system and pay attention to how we can make access to health care more equitable in this country. We are incorporating threads throughout the curriculum that link health equity and understanding of health disparities so that the system can change. The mission of the Drexel University Physician Assistant Program is to train primary care providers to work in medically underserved areas, and we hope that message is the focus of much of what we do in our program.
Do you have a favorite restaurant, museum or location in Philadelphia where you enjoy spending time?
Honestly, I don’t spend a lot of my free time in the city. I live in the suburbs and commute, so when I get home, I don’t often go back to the city. My favorite museum is the Barnes. I love to go to concerts at the Kimmel Center, particularly the Philadelphia Orchestra and once in a while a Phillies baseball game.
What do you wish students knew before arriving for their first year of study?
I understand that wanting to finish the program and get to practicing medicine is of utmost importance, but I wish students would not focus so much on what it takes to pass a test and move along but enjoy the time to learn and comprehend what’s being taught and take advantage of opportunities on clinical rotations. PA school is only a short window in a lifetime of learning.